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, 17 (1), 31-35

Personality Trait Change in Adulthood


Personality Trait Change in Adulthood

Brent W Roberts et al. Curr Dir Psychol Sci.


Recent longitudinal and cross-sectional aging research has shown that personality traits continue to change in adulthood. In this article, we review the evidence for mean-level change in personality traits, as well as for individual differences in change across the life span. In terms of mean-level change, people show increased selfconfidence, warmth, self-control, and emotional stability with age. These changes predominate in young adulthood (age 20-40). Moreover, mean-level change in personality traits occurs in middle and old age, showing that personality traits can change at any age. In terms of individual differences in personality change, people demonstrate unique patterns of development at all stages of the life course, and these patterns appear to be the result of specific life experiences that pertain to a person's stage of life.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Change in personality traits over time for six trait domains. These graphs were created by adding average amounts of standardized mean-level change from separate decades of the life course together, under the assumption that personality-trait change may be cumulative. Extraversion is broken into its constituent subdomains of social vitality and social dominance.

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